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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  August 22, 2011 2:00am-3:00am EDT

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this sunday, president obama looking like candate obama on a bus tour through the heartland, previewing the comi fights. >> we've got a lot of work to do. and the only way it'll get done is if democrats and republicans, country ahead of party, and put the next generation ahead of the next election. >> the president promises another jobs plan. but is it too a little too late foramericans? and the president's re-election hopes. with us, one of the president's closest confidants. former white house press secretary pb now an adviser for the obama re-election campaign, robert gibbs. plus -- >> i think the greatest threat to your country right now is this president who's trying to spin our way out of this
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disaster. >> why are so many republicans still searching? what's the gop plan for jobs? we'll talk to a man who considered getting into the race, indiana's governor and former budget director to president george w. bush, mitch daniels. then, wall street's wild swings. the world economy once again on the brink. what's on the horizon? can the president win re-election in this economy? our roundtable weighs in. former democratic congressman from tennessee harold ford jr. columnist for the "wall street journal," peggy noon. e.j. dionne. and host of cnbc's "closing bell," maria bartiromo. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning. the president is on day three of his ten-day vacation in martha's vineyard spending time with
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family and friends, hitting the links and doing some book shopping. aides say the president is being kept up to date on the situation in libya. new reports today of gunfire and explosions this morning. also on the president's mind during this vacation, his plans to unveil a new jobs package in a major speech after lab day. and here with us to talk about the president's jobs agenda and his re-election efforts, a familiar face to many from his days as white house press secretary, robert gibbs, now a key adviser to the president's campaign. robert, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me. >> let's start with a number i'm sure you're familiar with. the president's job approval rating on the economy. gallup has it as 26%. this is the lowest nmber of the president's entire term. my question to you is simple. how can he win re-election with a number like that? >> we've got to do a few things, savannah. first and foremost, the president's not worried about his job. he's worried about creating jobs
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for millions of americans who've been out of work for six months or two years or lonr. that's what his focus is. that's what it has been for each day of the last 2 1/2 years. and i think the president hopes that when congres gets back into town, that they'll act on some initiatives that we all know make sense and can pefully help businesses hire more people again. in terms of politics, look, i ink we're going to have a very robust campaign. and we're going to have a choice. and it's going to be based on some very simple values. the question is whether or not we're going to go back to wall street and big corpotions writing the rules or whether we're going to move forward and make smart investments and put people back to work. >> in fairness, you say the president is going to present this jobs plan. but he has been president for 2 1/2 years. there's been a jobs crisis every day of his presidency. there has been some progress. the unemployment rate has come down a bit. there's been a retur to growth.
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and yet one number continues to go down. and that is the president's approval rating on the economy. do you think the american people are saying, look, we n't think he has handled this crisis effectively? >> savannah, think what the american people are struggling with is the mo challenging economy of their lifetimes. the most challenging economy that we've ever lived through. when the president came into office the first qrter of 2009 when the president was in office in the last quarter of 2008, the worst -- >> people know that. yet they still say the president is not handling the economy they way they would like him to do. >> i think, savannah, people are struggling in this economy. i don't think that's any surprise. i think what the american people want to see are two politic parties that have work together. the president is going to outline some ideas. the question is, savannah, is
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there going to be a partner that can work with the prident on those ideas. the question the republican party is going to have to ask themselves qui simply, are they willing to set aside some party allegiance, are they willing to tll the tea party they're going to do what's best for the country and not necessarily what's just best for the political party. that's what october, november, december a going to be. the question republicans are going to have to ask themselves, are they ready to work with this president and put aside party leadership so our country can be stronger. >> we'll talk about the republicans in a moment. let's stay on the president for a moment. here he was in february 2009 at the beginning of his presidency with nbc's matt lauer. >> one nice thing about the situation i find myself in is that i will be held accountable. if i don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be one-term proposition. >> robert, how about it? does the president have it done? should we take him at his word, hold him accountable? it's three years past now. and make this a one-term
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presidency? >> thesavannah, the president is the president of the united states. he understands he has responsibility for what he can do. the question, savannah, is whether or not we can take the ideas that the president has or anybody else has and get them enacted by congress. the president can't do all of this alone. >> wait a minute, robert, for the first part of this term he had huge majorities in the senate, house -- >> what happened in the first year of the presidency? we went from almost 9% -- negative 9% economic growth to in the last quarter 2009 we had a positive 4% economic growth. we saw a huge change in the growth in our economy. we've begun to add jobs. we continue to have a challenging economy. we've seen an earthquake in japan that messed up the supply chain. we've seen europe face a severe debt crisis. we've got to give -- continue to
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give businesses a reason to keep adng people to the employment rolls. let's go do a couple of things, savannah. let's cut the payroll tax. let's continue that. you're going to have a guest on, mitch daniel, who in september of 2010 alerted "the wall street journal" let's cut social security tax on workers. the president did that. the president is going to ask congress to renew that. republicans in congress said that's just a sugar high. it's $1,000 for 150 million families. if we're not going to extend that tax cut, something governor mitch daniels, one of the leading republican economic voices in this country, if we're not going to extend that tax cut, is there a reason other than politics that that's what happens? that's the question is american people are asking. >> we don't know what is in the president's jobs plan. you mentioned he wants to extend the payroll tax cut. he's talked about patent reform getting trade deals passed. all of that will help with the job less situion. it's not enough to really make a huge dent in it.
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i fweguess the question is, why doesn he just go for broke? why doesn't he go out there and ask for it? make a case for it? >> savannah, i think the president is going to fight for exactly what he believes is best for the economy because he's done that every single day he's been president. but you just mentioned it, savannah. what can get through congress? let's take another example. transportation spending. the last time the united states made a major investment in transportation spending was in 2005. george bush was the president. barack obama was a senator from illinois. >> you wouldn't put the stimulus in that category? >> wasn't as big as -- investment ending on transportation wasn't as big as the surface transportation bill that passed in 2005. republicans voted collective 265-12 for that transportation spending. again, if the president proposed a transportation spending, investments i infrastructure to
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repair our roads and bridges, and republicans say no, is there a reason other than politics? i think that's what the american people are asking themselves. they watched this debate over the debt. and they saw that a fe republicans and a few people in the tea party basically held the larger republican party hostage. and it looked as if they would be fine taking the entire economy over the cliff in order to either prove their point or to do some political damage to the president. that's not the way this country has ever worked and it's not going to be the way we start adding jobs and making our economy stronger. >> let's talk about the issue of jobs and the perception here. because you were at the white house for 2 1/2 years. you remember this well. there were many times when the president would say, i'm going to focus on jobs again. let's take a look. >> jobs must be our number one focus in 2010. right now our number one focus has to be jobs, jobs, jobs. we now have to pivot and focus on jobs and growth.
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>> if the president is focused like a laser as you say on jobs, why is he continually reminding himself, oh, we've got to turn nd focus on jobs. it seems like an acknowledgment he's thinking about something else. >> i think he's hoping that congress will hear that. i think -- first of all, again, there's some history you and i covered this when i was at the white house. we lost 8 million jo in the course of this economic downturn. so we've got a huge hole to fill. and let's be honest. this -- even if people weren't losing their jobs in 2004, 2005 and 2006, i you take and add inflation in, most middle-class workers in this country have watched their paychecks actually go down over the course of ten years, not go up. look, i think they're looking at the broar economy and seeing that maybe there's a different set of rules for wall street than there is fo me on main street. and i think that we can't allow -- we can't go back to a time in which wall street was
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writing the rules, big companies were writing the rules, and middle class in this country were watching their paychecks get smaller and smaller. >> let's talk about the prident's vacation. he's in martha's vineyard with his family. his advisers and you among them say the americans should not begrudge this president time off with his family. generally speaking, that may be true. is there something about this moment in time? the dow is off 15%. unemployment persists. the world economy is on the brink. many economists think we're in real danger of a double dip recession. don't the american people expect him to maybe skip the trip and be working? >> savannah, you've covered this president in the white house and you've coved him on the road and when he takes some time off to be with his family and recharge a little bit. and you know quite well that the presidency travels with you. john brennan, the president's chief counterterrorism officer is with the president today. ryan deese, one of the best economic advisers that's been in
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the white house the past three ears is up in martha's vineyard. >> fair enough. isn't it just him vacationing at a time when the american people are really hurting, does that convey the sense of urgency you hope to convey? >> the sense of urgency has been with the president each and every day. we need a willing partner in order to make these good ideas part of what we're doing in this economy and law. savannah, this is a big political game. this happens every time republican or democrat, somebody goes on vacation and there's this big hulabaloo. as you well know and i well know, th presidency goes with you wherever you go. that's why there's secret service. that's why there's communications folks. i don't mean communications folks like me. i mean people that can get secret messages to the president. i have no doubt right now that the president is likely sitting in martha's vineyard getting an update on the situation in syria and libya as well as talking to
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advisers about the conomy. >> let's move on. let's talk about the republicans. as you know, texas governor rick perry had his first full week of campaigning and he took some shots at the president. let's take a look. >> i think you want a president that is passionate about america. that in love with america. i know what this country needs. >> y need to ask him. the president had the opportunity to serve his country i'm sure at some time. he made a decision that that wasn't what he wanted to do. >> the president said this week he'd cut rick perry some slack. will you? was it appropriate for this candidate to suggest the president doesn't love his country? >> two things come to mind. rick perry is the governor who two years ago openly talked about whether texas should leave the union. i think for rick perry to have at one point talked about secession from the union as
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early as 2005, i think it's good he's professed his love for his country. i think the american pele are tired of the politics where if you or i don't agree on something, i question your love and patriotism. that's not going to put this country back to work. it's not gog to make this country stronger. it's quite frankly not what our country was founded on. we ought to be able to have honest political debates in this country about political divisions and ways we see the country moving without questioning people's patriotism and love for country. >> here's michele bachmann, another candidate, on how she thinks the white house views her. >> i am one of the only candidates that this administration has been coming after. they fear my candidacy more than any other. >> robert, is this the candidate the white house most fears? >> look, i think that republicans are going to do battle in this. we saw it last week in iowa where -- where michele bachmann scored an important win in the iowa straw poll. but i think the american people are going to get a chance quite
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frankly to kick the tires a little bit and looknder the hood. i think when it comes to somebody like governor rick perry they're going to wonder why -- why a placeike texas has one of the worst education systems. they're going to wder why a guy who doesn't like the government, the largest employer in texas is ft. hood and the army base. $25 billion from economic recovery act went to texas and helped rick perry balance his budget. they're going to wonder why, quite frankly, they're 47th in wages just like they're gog to wonder why mitt romney, when he was governor of massachusetts, was 47th job creation. >> i'm glad you brought up mitt romney. last checked, actually, romney was the candidate white house advisers most feared. and there was an article in polico recently that cited many obama advisers saying the strategy against romney was to portray him as, quote, weird. is that your strategy? >> no. i'm happy to say that i'm not quoted either off the record, on
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background, or on the record in that article. >> you may not be, but several advisers were said to have used the word "weird" to describe romney repeated. >> if i was making the case to someby about why you should vote for somebody and why you shouldn't vote for somebody else, i don't think "weird" with would be in the top 50 words i'd use to describe that person. i think there's plenty to talk about with mitt romney. like i said, four years as governor of massachusetts and they finished 47th in job creation. quite frankly, had hurricane katrina not hit louisiana they'd have finished 48th. there's plenty of things to talk about with mitt romney. just this week mitt romney talked about overregulation in our economy. the overregulation he was talking about was the wall street reform we passed in 2010. he thinks wall street reform, not letting wall street write the rules for how we do business, that's the kind of regulation we have too much of in this country. i think people that watch their
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housing values basically decimated overnight don't think that we have too many people watching or had too many people watching what wall street was doing in 2006 and 2007 and 2008. and that's quite frankly not what they want to go back to. >> before i let you go, robert, as you well know in 2008 the president campaigned on a slogan of change we can believe in. here was the president a few weeks ago in chicago. >> when i said change we can believe in, i didn't sayhange we can believe in tomorrow. not change we can believe in next week. >> robert, is the president suggesting americans should have read the fineprint on his promise? what's the 2012 slogan going to be? >> look, i think what he understands and i think quit frankly what the american people understand is, we did not get into this economic crisis overnight. and we're not going to get out of it in just one day. i think if you look at where the president wants to take this country, making the important investments in things like
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technolo technology, research and education, bringing our troops home from iraq and afghanistan, those are the types of changes that they wanted in 2008, and that's what the president is going to deliver on. i think, again, in 2012 we're going to have a very robust debate about which direction we're going to take is country. are we going to take it forward the way president obama wants to or are we goi to go back to some of the things that got us into this mess leading up to 2008. >> robert gibbs, good to have you here on "meet t press," thank you. >> thank you. >> join meing me now, governor mitch daniels. before we turn to politics and the state of the economy, we want to offer our condolences. we know it's been a very difficult week for the state of indiana, the accident at the state fair. >> thanks for mentioning it. >> let's talk about politics. i'm going to put on this screen the republican candidate for president as it stands right now. you've got romney, perry, gingrich, paul, cain, santorum, bachmann and huntsman.
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my question to you, sir. is there a president on that screen? >> i think there could be several of them. these are good people with a lot of character. a lot of them, i think, have the right skill set to be president. >> would you campaign for all of them? >> i'd campaignfor whichever one emerges from our process. >> there's a sense, though, governor that some republicans aren't quite satisfied with the field we just showed. there continues to be speculation about someone else in the race. maybe new jersey governor chris christie. congressman paul ryan. rudy giuliani had talked about it. sarah palin is hanging out there. does all of this translate to a sense among some in the republican party that they look at the republican field and they ask hemselves, really, is this the best we can do? >> there's nothing wrong with searching for the best we can do. i think that's what all americans are hoping for. my own view has been that although i like all those folks, there's something to like about each one o them, that this is a more the merrier situation. that's why we have extended the
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nomination process. i look forward to how these candidates develop their messages. >> governo wait a minute. if you really felt strongly that in the current slate of candidates there was somebody who could take on president obama and win, why would you be saying the more the merrier, come one, come all, let's get more candidates in? >> because i -- back to your previous question, i would like to see the very, very best. you know, i think we know these folks have great personal qualities. i'm waiting to hear their message. i personally hope that our party will speak the language of unity. we are all in this mess together. you know, the american people, as your previous interview showed, don't ed a lot of instruction from anyone about how failed these policies have been, how deep the problems we're facing are. and i think that the best candidate, the one people are searching for, will be one who speaks specifically and candidly about what we ought to do about it. we don't need to bash the
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president, the failure of what he's done, the misdirection of this country is pretty obvious to us all. so let's talk about the important question. what do we do now? i think maybe one of the existi field is going to emerge as the -- as the person who speaks most affirmatively and appealingly in th way. >> well, i know you're close to congressman paul ryan who is said to be once again weighing a bid for president. are you encouraging him to run? have you spoken to him lately? do you think he may run? >> i've not spoken to him lately and i've not encouraged him. when asked about him as a candidate, i said if paul ryan ran, i thought he would really enrich this debate in many of the ways i just talked about. he understands that an affirmative pro growth, pro jobs message that says everything else must take second place to that is the one hope for low-income people in this country, it's the one way we restore a stable and hopeful middle class. and he would be a very effective and clear spokesman with a heart for people that i think our
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party must display. >> are you sending him a message this morning? do you thinke makes up for lack of a better word a deficit in thcurrent field? >> it is not for me to say. he's got a young family and he's fairly young in his career. that's the highly personal decision. i wouldn't tempt to intrude on. but i'm just tell ing youthat i think that now or in the future this is an american who has a lot to offer and to whom i hope people will listen whether he's candidate or not. >> let's talk about the rhetoric among the candidates who are in the field. here you are talking to conservative activists back in february. your concerns about rhetoric in our politics in general. >> i urge a similar thoughtfulness about the rhetoric we deploy in the great debate ahead. i suspe everyone here regrets and laments the sad, crude, coarsening of our popar culture. it has a counterpart in the venomous, petty, political discose of the day. >> yet it would appear, sir,
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many of your republican colleaes in the presidential race aren't necessaly heeding that warning. here in texas governor rick perry this week accusing the deral reserve chairman of near treason. >> if this guy prints moreoney between now and the election, i don't know what y'all would do to him in iowa, but we'd -- we would trt him pretty ugly down in texas. i mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in american history is almost treacherous -- or treasonness, in my opinion. >> governor, did reck perry cross the line? >> he made a serious point in an unfortunate way. i think everybody including i guess the predent has given him a mulligan on the adjective. the point he's making about flooding the world with printed money, borrowing unlimited quantities, using it for trickle down government which is the policy of this administration, is a bad one.
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sure, he shouldn't have said it. i still -- i still believe very much -- i wenton in that -- in that talk that you just played a sliver of to say we can't beat the other side. there's nobody mo effective than the president and his alliest vilifying people, challenging their character. >> are you sure about at? rick perry just accused the fed chairman of near treason. >> i join the -- those who agree that that was the wrong thing to say. but i just told our folks as a matter of effectiveness, you can't. you can't outdo them. besides, here's the more serious point, savannah. we sure have found in indiana if you want to make big change, you need big jorities, you need a big consensus and you need to try and unify and reach out to people. that's what i hope that our party would do. if the goal isesults and not just scoring points, and not just the emotional satisfaction of zinging somebody or not even just the very partial victory of winning an election, if we're going to save this country,
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we're going to redeem the amecan dream, then we're going to have to gather together people. once again, we are in th together. the dangers we face are of equal, i think, threat to every one of us. and i just hope that we will find a vocabulary first as a party then as a nation for saying so. >> recently at the republican debate the candidates were asked whether they would accept a deal in which there were $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax hikes. and every single candidate raised their hand saying, they would not take such a deal. my question to you is, is this tenable? you' a former adviser director. you know the deficit problem better than anybody else. does that convey a sense that republicans are so intransigent on this issue tat this problem they profess to care about, i.e. the deficit, can't be solved? >> first, there's tons of intransigents on the other side
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that democrats have been utterly i'd say not only stubborn, but cynical in their protestations that they won't touch, ey won't modernize or rebuild the safety net programs, and everyone knows that has to happen. no. i would say this. i've answered this question before. it seems to me that someone who would be our next president should take one pledge and one only. that's the one that involves the bible and the west front of the capitol building. and at this point, my view is that we should address our economic issues and for that matter, our debt issues without at least raising tax rates. we're going to have to raise a lot more revenue, and i think that means a new tasystem. fer loopholes, lower rates. but the -- i think that at this stage if i could get such a deal. you know, the problem with these bargains in the past is the taxes are real and immediate and somehow the spding cuts never happen. so there's a reason to be very skeptical about them.
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but, no, i think we ought to be open. we've got to solve this problem in the interest of us all. we ought not rule anything out in pursuit of doing that. >> republicans have certainly successfully made deficit cutting a primary subject of debate here in washington. but how is deficit cutting a jobs creation strategy which is just the thing americans are most concerned about? >> because we're going to have a crushing debt load, therefore higher interest rates. it's now very well demonstrated that past a certain level of debt which we are rapidly approaching faster than anyone ever expected under this administration, growth is permanently stagnated and therefore the american dreamf upward mobility permanently stunted. so i do not agree with those who say, you know, it's like wasn't it st. augustin, lord make me chaste but not today. yeah, yeah, we'll cut some spending but not for a good while. i don't buy that. who thought the federal
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government was too small, for instance, in 2008. i belie the first step in a growth strategy is to say to the world, america's not going broke. our credit's going to be good. u can loan us money at rates we can afford. i believe it's part and parcel. you ought to go, if you'll permit me, it ought to go hand in hand with a full throated nothing else comes first commitment to jobs and growth. that means energy. that meanstopping the overregulation we're facing and i already mentioned tax reform. >> wre almost out of time here. i've got to ask you, i know you carefully considered a run for president. do you have any regrets? would you reconsider and enter the race? >> i've been asked that question lot lately publicly and privately. i think our family's at peace that we made the decision that's right for us. it was made as a family. and so i -- i think this race can do fine without me. i to hope to be constructive in some way or another. i'll look for some supporting role. >> would you consider vice
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president as a supporting role? >> i think it's such a farfetched question i'd never answer it. >> all right. governor mitch daniels of indiana, good to have you here, sir, thank you. coming up, rule one of the politics? it'she economy. and the economy is in trouble. can an incumbent president win with long unemployment lies, wall street in turmoil and americans feeling increasely hopeless? plus, rick perry roars into the republican race. is the texas governor the gop's best hope for beating president obama? or is he a primary star who will fade out in a general election? our roundtable weighs in. former congressman haro ford jr. "wall street journal's" peggy noonan. "washington post's" e.j. dionne. noonan. "washington post's" e.j. dionne. and canansanthis...is the netwo. a living, breathing intelligence that's helping drive the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn.
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and we're back with our roundtable. joining me now,ormer democraticcongressman from tennessee, harold ford jr.
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columnist for the "wall street journal," peggy noonan. columnist for the "washington post," e.j. dionne. and host of cnbc's "closing bell" maria bartiromo. welcome back all of you to "meet the press." we're off. the republicans after ames had a week of campaigning. the prident w out on a trip that they say was not a campaign but sometimes loed a lot like one. let's start with rick pery's comment calling the federal reserve chairman near treas treasonist. it was put, this may be the least responsible statement in the modern history of politics. peggy noonan, did it cross the line? >> to call it the least responsible statement in modern politics opens up too big an area to begin with. when i heard it, it made me wince. i thought, oh, man, that ain't the language. i think it sort of highlighted a certain problem that mr. perry has and that might be true of
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some in the republican field, which is that they have their political life, their policies, their philosophy of what they believe in. but it's also very important in politics to have a kind of persona of moderation to seem like a benign person, a kindly person, a smart perso ronald reagan was the last really, really conservative president -- republican nominee to win in 1980. part of the reason he ran was that he was called radical. he was called mean. he was called all these things. then you'd look at him and you'd se benign, even keeled, even tempered, normal. i think the republicans, some of them have to work on that right now. >> yeah. it seems that perhaps the republican primary voters, that's not what they're shopping for. maria, i have to ask ou, what does wall street hear when they hear something like that from a candidate. >> i think wall street, main street, people are sick and
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tired of the us versus them. it's your fault. no, it's your fault. this whole debt ceiling debate having turned as toxic as it has has put people over the edge. people would prefer to hear leadership. one thing i hear constantly from investors and ceos, there's a lack of leadership. this country has never been mor divided than it is right now. we need leadership to bring us together. i agree. it's too toxic language. >> e.j., we heard what i consider to be throwback arguments about patriotism, military service, does the president really love the country. i mean, do you think that's where this debate is headed or should be headed? >> robert gibbs made the point democrats are going to make over and over again about rick perry which is it's odd for him to talk about the president not loving the country or implying it as a guy who talked loosely about secession a couple years ago. i think to reach for treason as the first thing you say when you want to criticize somebody, that's kind of scary. he wants to make sort of ronald reagan and george w. bush look
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like hubert humphrey. for t it's a reallytrange moment. >> at the moment we do have three at the top of the field. you've got romney, bachmann and perry. i want to ask you guys about what you think that effect might have on these candidates. in the national journal, the gop's emerging three-way race dynamic virtually ensures the party's nominee in 2012 will run on the agenda to the right of any nominee at least ronald reagan in 1980 a prospect that may excite conservatives and hearten democrats at equal level. >> perry has the number one job cating record in the country at least by the numbers. why he would not be out talking abt that as opposed to making irresponsible, just silly and arguably dangerous comments
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about a federal official is beyond me. i read what ron said. i happen to think whoever the republicans nominate is going to be a very serious candidate. they will be taken seriouslyy the country for many reasons. the tone and substance of your questions this morng to robert, the focus of average americans' minds. without a doubt, huntsman, romney probably rise to that vel. i happen to think this field is not done yet. i was on this show two months ago and republicans said, no, our field is complete. no one else is is going to get in. i happen to think that the way perry got in this race has created the path for chris christie to get in this race. romney is not as loved by the party as he would like tbe. p does that open up for giuliani or christie? i think it does. i think the president has got to be focused on one thing. jobs and the economy. let the republican primary take care of itself. >> republicans are still casting
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about, they're wondering, is there anyone else out there? here's one potential answer. this is sarah palin. she has a new web ad. she's going back to iowa september 3rd. let's take a look. >> she's very down to earth. >> she's awesome. >> ladies and gentlemen, governor sarah palin. >> i think the good folks here in iowa, you could ask anybody here, and i think they would tell you it's time that the country is put back on the right track, tat the economy strengthened, jobs are created, let's do what we know! empower the people of america. >> guess that's a mama grizzly. raise your hands. who thinks that's a campaign commercial? peggy, what do you think? >> it could be brand reidentification. it could be any number of things. that could be business at work. and it also has the look,
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superficiay, of a campaign thing. look, i think with republicans in genal, we're paying so much attention to what's going on in iowa that kind of skews things. my sense of republicans on the ground in america, they don't think the field is full and they don't want the field to be full. they want more people to choose from. that's why there's this constant chatter not only with mitch daniels, who you just had on, and who mny people feel in the rty is kind of an almost nostalgia for the candidacy that could havbeen been there. paul ryan, there's talk. chris christie. the talk about chris christie has not gone away no matter how much he says he won't do it. he actually threatened a while back to kill himself if they wouldn't stop it and they're not stopping it. >> they're not stopping it. e.j., if the republican primary does pull candidates to trigt, is that the president's best hope? as we talked about with robert gibbs, this bumper sticker slogan isn't there right now. >> no. i think this race is shaping up
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to be a fundamental choice. we have really had a long consensus in tis country about the government having certain responsibilities to e economy. that includes, by the way, right now to stimulate it. ani am hoping the president comes out very strong with a stimulus program. these republicans really want to bring us back to the guilded age. my favorite ronald reagan line is when he jed once in my administration the right hand doesn't know what the far right hand is doing. what you've got in the republican party right now is a conservative, mitt romney, against the far right. it's a very strange array. it opens up room for obama. it's not hope this time, it's fear. >> there are big promises happening on the republican side too, maria. i wanted to ask you to give us a reality check on one of them. michele bachmann is saying that she can bring back in a bachmann administration $2 a gallon gasoline. she also said within one quarter, her policies would effect a turnaround in the economy. what would you say? >> i mean, i think it is extraordinary that the country
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does not have an energy policy. how long have we been talking about the fact we a so reliant on international oil? i don't know. probably e silver lining in this whole economic slowdown, receion, whatever you want to call it is the fact that oil prices ve come down. >> can one president effectuate that much change in these commodities markets? is that an overpromise? >> one president can exhibit leadership. set the tone to where we're going. that's really what we need. whether or not she can do that, bring gasoline down to $2, but at a minimum, we need a plan. people need to know where they're going. they want a vision. at this point we're continually reliant on international oil which is a major issue. >> let's talk about leadership and the president. as you may have heard, he is on vacation right now. peggy, i know you know about it because you wrote about it. let's put up a chart. i think it's fair to make the point that presidents do take vacations and comparing to recent predecessors he is not at the top o the list in the amount of time taken. however, peggy, you've said this was a bad choice to take it
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right now because of where the economy is. >> well, i kind of think not only the econy, there's a sense out there -- there's a few things going on. one is this longing for leadership that maria mentioned whereeople want to look at a leader or a potential leader and thi, i'd follow that guy. i'd follow that woman. i get the logic of the case. i want to go in that direction. nobody has that sense right now. there's a sense also going on that we are incrisis. that something is impending. if the president wanted to sort ofshow a leadership presence, i think maybe he would have thought twice about going up there. and i think he went to an odd place. >> what about this jobs plan. a cartoonist, bill bramhall of the daily news put a fine point on it. what's the plan, someone asks? obama says, i'll tell you when i get back from vacation. >> harold, was that ham handed
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for the white house to say we've got a jobs plan, we'll tell you in a couple weeks, when people are suffering now? >> if you are fortunate around this table to be dutifully employed, some are more than one job, the reality is, if you have a jobs plan, put it out. same thg t michele bachmann. so americans can be spared the agony. i hope the president does wh e.j. said. i hope it's bold. e.j. and i may define bold differently. he's got to come out with a plan that creating certain regulations. i'd encourage a mortar rum ator new regulations even on parts of the new health care bill. how do you get people back to work in industries who are ready to hire? there are things you can do right now. a lot of that money people worry will be spent on dividends or spent on stock buybacks. who cares. if the money comes back to the
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u.s. and u.s. investors benefit, the economy ben fiefits becausee stock market goes up. >> that's the issue. the president needs a short-term and long-term plan. thmarkets are built on confidence. people need to have confidence that we actually see a plan that will ncourage businesses to create job. right now all wee ever hearing about is, oh, taxes will fgo higher. millionairesbillionaires, corporations will carry the brunt. the corporate sector has $2.5 trillion in cash. they're not putting the money to workbecause they're anticipating osts going higher late later. the point on regulation, dodd-frank is the law of the land. business d't know what businesses are going to look like in six months. >> they need to stop being so critical of wall street as well. wall street and main street are the same. when wall street does well -- >> the problem in this country is there isn't demand. and i do -- harold's right. i do want the president to be bold. and i think -- i've been
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watching cnbc more than i ever have before and enjoying it. i see one ceo after another come on there and say, well, it's not the thing to do when we may be heading into a second recession. we need government to step in. the governments around the world in march of 2009 got together and organized an international stimulus plan which kept us from falling into a depression. the president's got to go out there with support from the business folks i see all the time on cnbc. it's not about regulation. it's about demand. >> it is a dand story. there's also a regulatory environment which people still do not know and understand how it is going to look in six months. >> you said basically you're hoping the president goes big or goes home with this jobs plan. so far there's no indication that he plans to go big. i mean, do you think that he presettles? in other words, makes a political calculation about what can get passed as opposed to going out there strongly and saying this is what i think is
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right for the economy and by golly i'm going to argue for it, whether it rises or falls, judge me on tha >> yes. tha is what he should do. i think preempive concession, you don't go in, buy a car, say i'll give you something above the asking price. more than that, he got to rise above politics and say i don't know whether this can pass or not but this is what we need to do i'm going to fight for it. i'm going to get alies toalk to republicans and say you may disagree with me on this or that. this is an emergency. we've got to get this economic moving. >> i've got to ask peggy noonan about her column a few weeks ago. you said, i quote, nody loves obama and you said he is a loser. which means you must have been really mean in fifth grade on the playground, peggy. what is your point there? what's your point that nobody loves this president? >> well, presidents always have a little rock hard 20% that love them. do you know what i mean? that is just -- no matter how much trouble clinton got into or bush got into, there was always people who say, i know, i'm a
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little mad, but i love the guy. with obama, for most now it has been true at least six months, you don't hear that anymore. you don't hear it from people who were passionate about him. can i mention something about obama -- >> ten seconds or so. >> hehould not do bits and bops and bits of little pieces of legislation and policy. he should be clear, define the situation, give us the answer. >> all right. we've got to leave it there. we're going to take a quick break. we will be back with our friends ands takeaways with what we said here today and what to8gg@ú
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we're back with more from our roundtable. the president has released his reading list for his vacation on martha's vineyard. it's pretty heavy duty stuff. it's the bayou trilogy.
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cutting for stone. to the end of the land by david grosan. the warmth of other suns. here it s. 2,575 pages of it. he's got a book report to do. e.j., my question is, what can we tell about a president by what he reads on vacation? >> what strikes me aboutthis list is he's reading a lot of fairly serious but in some cases entertaining novels. i'm so happy it came out that brave new world was bought for his daughter's reading list. otherwiseight wing blogs would be all over it saying this is what obama wants to do to america. >> bachmann speaks wider appeal is on our list. maria, bachmann is the one cditioned d candidate who doesn't -- she's saying i can appeal in a general eltion setting. >> she's got to appeal in it if she's going to have any success here. i think at the end of the day it's about the economy. if people believe and have
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nfidence that she,n fact, has a plan, she wl be able to get broader appeal. it's all about the economy. people need to have confidence in order to believe that we're going to grow and not necessarily being te worst house on an okay block in the global onomy. >> our "meet the press" takeaway. what we think is going to make the news from our interview with mitch daniels. let's take a look. >> when asked about him as a candidate i said if paul ryan ran i thought he would really enrich this debate in many of the ways i just talked about. i'm just tell ing you-i think now or in the future this is an american that has a lot to offer and who whom i hope people will listen whether he's candidate or not. >> peggy, you speak washington. is mitch daniels telling paul ryan, get in the race? >> i think he is being encouraging towards someone who eserves encougement and who may get in the race. >> the real loser from that? mitt romney. he's not satisfied with mitt
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romney. he uld not have praised and gone on and on and on about my friend paul ryan if he were satisfied with romney. >> from twitte someone writes what's our alternative? as republicans, we're angry at obama. we're not so angry we would vote republican. we saw maxine waters the congresswoman at that town hall with a lot of angry constituents. these are supporters of the president saying we don't know what the strategy is. why is it so many supporters of president obama consistently say we don't know what he stands for? >> he's got to be clear. he's got to be bold. i agree with my frind maria. he's got to give certainty to the markets. markets, again, don't be critical o wall street and big business in this country. at the end of the day those two forces are main street. they create job do those things, it will turn around. 4% to 5% growth again, america feels like america again.
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maxine waters will come around. >> we need to get our arms around spend ing morethan we take in. >> we've got to live it there. rundtable, thank you. before we go, next sunday our meet the candidates series continues as the former governor of utah, republican presidential contender jon huntsman wl join david gregory live in studio for an exclusive [ male announcer ] when men don't choose what's right for their face, they can end up with shaving irritation. ♪ get gillette irritation defense shave gel and gillette fusion proglide razor to help defend against five signs of shaving irritation. ♪ try gillette fusion proglide and the irritation defense line. help defend your skin. ♪
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